Ashin Kumara, the chairman of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka call a meeting of all senior abbots to discuss monastic discipline.

Junta Plans to Tighten Controls on Monks
Burma’s ruling military junta and the government-backed state monks committee plan to introduce new rules that will further restrict the activities of monks in the country, according to reports in the state-run media.

The official Burmese-language newspaper Myanma Ahlin reported on Saturday that Ashin Kumara, the chairman of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka Committee, said he planned to call a meeting of all senior abbots to discuss the new regulations, which he said were aimed at improving monastic discipline.The move would help to “safeguard Buddhism,” which had been weakened by attacks on the state monks committee by critics at home and abroad, the senior monk added.
Since the monk-led mass demonstrations of September 2007, monks throughout the country have come under intense scrutiny from the authorities. Observers said it was unusual for the state monks committee to call a nationwide meeting of all the major sects of Theravada Buddhism in the country, and suggested that it could signal a further crackdown on activities deemed political. Continue reading “Ashin Kumara, the chairman of the State Sangha Maha Nayaka call a meeting of all senior abbots to discuss monastic discipline.”

Nationality verification to be sped up

Deal struck with Burma on workers in Thailand

Thailand and Burma have agreed to speed up the nationality verification of Burmese workers despite the UN’s warning that the process could lead to human rights violations.

The two governments had jointly set up three registration stations along the border, said Labour Minister Paitoon Kaewthong, who met his Burmese counterpart Aung Kyi last week to discuss verifying the nationality of Burmese workers working in Thailand.

Each station, which could verify the nationality of 300 Burmese applicants a day, would be asked to process 1,000 applications a day, Mr Paitoon said.

Burma also agreed to look at a Thai proposal for Burmese officials to verify the nationality of Burmese workers on the Thai side of the border in Ranong during the monsoon season. Workers who travelled by boat to Burma’s Kawthaung islet to apply for nationality verification could put their safety at risk.

Mr Paitoon was confident nationality verification of all alien workers would be completed before the deadline.

In January, the cabinet passed a resolution allowing for a two-year extension of work permits for over one million migrants provided they were willing to submit biographical information to their home governments.

The workers are required to register to enter the nationality verification process before Feb 28. Continue reading “Nationality verification to be sped up”